We’re excited to kick off a brand new series at Fresh Life this weekend – “Sometimes, Always, Never” – all about the will of God. Join us at one of our locations across Montana or online at freshlifechurch.com!
The first skull church event of the year is tonight at 7pm MST in Kalispell and live online!
Ten years ago today Jennie and I were married! It is exciting to have reached this milestone and have spent a decade together. I really can’t believe she married me in the first place, and the spell hasn’t worn off a bit. In fact, my love for her has only grown as I have watched her become more and more the woman Jesus wants her to be.
In the book of Genesis there is a man named Jacob who had to wait and work for seven years before he could marry Rachel, the woman of his dreams, but he didn’t mind. The seven years seemed as only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. When you love someone the things you do for them are a joy not a sacrifice. I can’t help but relate as I think back on these ten years. Time has passed quickly, difficult things have been diluted and joy has been enhanced by her presence in my life.
Not that it’s been easy. Uprooting from the city and pioneering a multi-site church in rural America, a demanding schedule of outreach events, an allergy to complacency and having four kids along the way has kept our calendar packed and our life wild. Friction and conflict are frequent realities. Jennie and I have a great marriage today, but it’s not by accident and it didn’t happen on it’s own. We have worked hard and fought for it. We have invested in our friendship, cultivated it and as a result we get to enjoy the fruit.
On the one year anniversary of Lenya going to Heaven Jennie and I were standing in the cemetery holding each other and Alivia took a photo of the two of us. When I looked at it later it hit me that this is not what anyone has in mind when they dream about marriage. You usually think about all your plans for the future coming to pass. Thats why looks, chemistry, money, and things you have in common, are ranked so highly.
There’s nothing wrong with any of those things of course, but how will they be when life goes worse instead of better? I know that back when we were dating I never pictured us shedding tears over the grave of a child together. I pictured us kissing on the top of the Empire State Building and preaching the gospel ’til our last breath, our kids beside us like little arrows.
The highest praise I can give to Jennie is that it has been an honor to suffer with her. It’s not the good times that show what is really inside, it takes pain filled moments to reveal character, and she has suffered magnificently. As it turns out our dreams and nightmares have come to pass together. We have kissed 102 floors above the twinkling lights of Manhattan, done ministry across the country together AND cried until we ran out of tears when one of our little arrows flew unexpectedly to heaven. In it all it has been a privilege to do so as the husband of Mrs. Jennie Lusko. There is no one I would want to hurt with, laugh with, scheme with, cry with, trail-blaze with, hold onto hope with or get old with more than her.
This weekend we visited our newest fresh life campus in Bozeman, Montana. It is amazing to see what Jesus is doing in that city. We have had a packed house and a growing church since day one, and people are coming to know Christ each week. The city is also very near to our hearts as a family because a month before Lenya went to heaven we traveled there for a skull church event in the city. It was the last time we went on a ministry trip together as a family of six.
Whenever we return to the city there are Lenya memories everywhere. Naturally there is some sadness, but overwhelmingly it is a very happy place for me. It was sixteen months ago that we were there with her but standing in the candy store where she had picked up a giant lollipop or the restaurant where she got a temporary tattoo of a bacon-and-egg skull and cross bones brings memories of her flooding back like they were yesterday.
It is crazy how much Lenya’s sisters have grown. Clover was just a baby back then. Daisy was the age Clover is now. And Alivia is shooting up like she’s made of bamboo. The empty space where Lenya would be in the “now” photo makes me wonder what she would look like today at six and-a-half. How tall she would be? Would she be gaining on Liv? And then I wonder what she is like in Heaven. The Bible says, “It is not yet revealed what we will be,” but this I do know for sure,“when we see Him we will be like Him.” (1 John 3:2) So I will have to keep using my imagination until that day.
As I look at these two pictures, from then and now, it occurs to me that when you take a photo you never know what life will look like a year later. That is why it is so important to not take anything for granted. Savor the little things. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life must be intentionally cherished as it races by. You won’t find time for what matters most. You must make time.
We are coming your way this May! We will be starting in Dallas and making our way to Denver with four O2 Experience events. We are partnering with some amazing churches and are praying for God to do some MAJOR things! If you would like more info, would like to request promo materials, or your church would like to participate in any of these events click here.